Sunday, June 10, 2018

How about a Central Park New York Style for the Trop site?


Will the old planning model work for the Trop?

St. Petersburg, Fl 
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD  Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
Thursday June 7, 2018 City Council approved an Agreement with HKS Architects to proceed with phase two of the master planning agreement for the Tropicana Field property. This effort is to provide master planning input for the redevelopment of the Trop site WITHOUT a baseball stadium.
The objective is to have a preliminary Master plan ready in September of this year (2018) that will provide some guidance for the City as it begins to consider plans and developers for the nearly 85 acres of the Tropicana site.
For some background on the current status of baseball, you can check out: Tampa Bay Times, Charlie Frago, Deadline clock ticking on Rays agreement with St. Pete: What happens next?
For some excellent insight into the Rays and baseball in St. Pete and Tampa see: Tampa Bay Times, John Romano Romano: Instead of fussing, St. Pete should help the Rays pack.
I would like to suggest that the City consider adding some thoughts to the consultant’s plan for the additional 20 acers or so that become available if there is no baseball stadium or sports park.
It is time to reconsider the traditional development model of tall buildings with retail on the first floor some parking above and residential soaring into the sky. As small business gets tougher and tougher, the only likely candidates for this commercial space are small bars, coffee shops and spas. Problem is the rents are so high it is difficult to survive.
First rather than cram more offices, commercial and residential development into the area, how about the City consider carving ten or fifteen acres of the 20 acres now available without baseball and create a Central Park (New York style) space in this magnificent parcel that everyone downtown and throughout the City could use.
There is a ready a water feature (Booker Creek) running through the property and a park could be linear along the Creek or just have the Creek wander through a part of it.
A redevelopment with this type of approach would turn the Trop site into a truly world-class place to live and work, and it would be a major City-wide asset at the same time.
Redeveloping the entire site with the maximum vertical and horizontal density would be a major mistake.
Romano is right – it is time to start helping the Rays pack their bags.
Here is an opportunity for Mayor Kriseman and his staff, who, by the way, I think are doing a great job of managing the entire Rays and Tropicana Redevelopment effort, to make another major statement about St. Petersburg and provided a legacy that will last literally forever.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at 
Bay Post Photos.  
Disclosures:
Contributor to: Rick Scott for Senate 

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